African Community News has been told by a reliable Presidential Villa source that President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected the direct primaries imposed on political parties by the National Assembly.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) controlled two chambers, the Senate and the house of representatives, have recently an electoral amendment bill to the president, with one of the items requiring all political parties to adopt direct primaries in choosing the candidates during election.
The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Progressives Governor’s Forum and many other stakeholders, have rejected the bill and urged the president not to sign it into law.
President Buhari, as part of his consultation on the matter, wrote to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to advice him.
We have been told that the President Buhari has therefore communicated his decline to assent to the amended Act.
One of the reasons for Buhari’s rejection of the bill we learnt, was the huge cost of conducting direct primaries to nominate candidates for the various political parties across the country for elections.
INEC was said to have estimated the cost at N500 billion for each general election.
It would be recalled that the idea of direct primaries was earlier muted by the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, when Adams Oshiomhole was APC national chairman.
The Lagos APC had used the system to frustrate former Governor Akinwumi Ambode from securing the APC ticket for a second tenure in Lagos State.
As it stand, the national Assembly may resolve to rework the bill or veto the President and pass it again which may not require the assent of the President to become a law.